[ RadSafe ] Fate of Georgian men who encountered RTGs

Maury Siskel maurysis at peoplepc.com
Wed Jul 1 09:47:07 CDT 2009


2001 Georgia
In December 2001, three woodsmen found two heat-emanating ceramic 
objects near their campsite in the remote Inguri river valley of 
Georgia. Two of the woodsmen involved in the accident carried the 
containers on their backs and experienced nausea, vomiting, and 
dizziness within hours of exposure. The third carried the source 
attached to a wire. At a hospital in Tbilisi, Georgia, the woodsmen were 
diagnosed with radiation sickness and severe radiation burns, and at 
least two of the three were in serious condition. A Georgian team 
recovered the sources in early 2002 with the assistance of the IAEA. 
They were the unshielded, ceramic sources of two Soviet-era RTGs each 
containing about 30,000 Ci of Strontium-90. Two of the victims were 
treated in hospitals in Paris and Moscow for many months before 
recovering from severe radiation burns.

2002 West Georgia
Three shepherds from the Tsalendzhikha region were exposed to high 
radiation doses after they stumbled upon a number of RTGs in a nearby 
forest. Shortly after the accident the IAEA established that, during the 
Soviet time, eight such generators altogether were delivered to Georgia.

Continuing checking for more current information  ....
Brian Rees wrote:

> I recently heard that the two men who encountered an RTG in the woods 
> in Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state) died from the 
> experience.  Does anybody know of their fate/outcome?
> Thanks,
> Brian Rees

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